Tag: Android

Apple’s first Andriod App is terrible

ANDROIDFruity cargo cult Apple’s attempts to score conversions from the Android community has failed specularly.

Yesterday, Jobs’ Mob released an app, which was supposed to encourage android users to migrate to its operating system and then junk their android phones as “worthless.”

The app was release to a great fanfare by the Tame Apple Press who predicted that the app was all Android fans needed to junk their cheaper and more functional smartphones for something that was more expensive and did less.

However those who did up load it were less than impressed with Apple’s android coding skills. Those who downloaded it have flooded the app with one-star reviews. However, it seems the Apple community has responded and has started sending five star reviews into the Android system. They have managed to claw up the average to 1.8 stars.

However since more than 79 per cent of users were happy to share their miserable experience, the five stars are in a minority.

There is no doubt that some of the one star reviews are penned by those who hate Apple, just like the five star reviews are written by those who have never owned an Android. But a big chunk of the one stars are written by those who have installed the app and found that it had poor functionality. Apparently Apple refused to follow the Android design patterns which made it hard to work.

Google plans a Chinese comeback

ChinaSearch engine Google is planning to re-enter the Chinese market after leaving in a huff five years ago over spying.

The company hopes to get Chinese government approval for a China version of its Play store mobile app.  Basically Google wants to make sure that its new version of Android gets some adoption in China where the Google store is not exactly permitted.

The tech giant is also planning to extend support of a version of Android for wearable devices in the country.

Google has assured Chinese authorities that it will follow local laws and block Play store apps that the government deems objectionable.

The Play store app will only work on devices running the recently unveiled “M” version of Android, and only on devices that comply with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology requirements.

Google is also planning to offer new incentives to phone makers to upgrade Android phones to the latest versions of its operating system.

Tablet shipments down again

tabletA report from market research company IDC said that it expects overall tablet shipments worldwide to fall by eight percent this year.

But the bright news for vendors is that so-called 2-in-1 devices will grow by 85.5 percent this year. 2-in-1 devices are essentially notebooks with detachable screens that can be used as tablets.

IDC said the expected decline of eight percent is notable because earlier data it released suggested the market would only fall by 3.8 percent. The latest figures estimate 212 million regular tablets will ship.

Barriers to 2-in-1 machines were that they were pricey, the designs weren’t very nice, and no one wanted Windows 8, which was installed on most of the machines available. But now there are more vendors in the game including vendors using Android.

It’s also anticipated that the introduction a machine by Apple later this year will increase demand.

IDC analyst Philippe Bouchard believes that IT departments are now evaluating Windows 10 and will migrate their notebook and tablet installed base towards 2-in-1s.

Smartphone decline confirmed

smartphoneLast week, market research company Gartner said that there’s a general slow down in sales of smartphones worldwide.

And this week, rival research firm IDC has confirmed that trend.

IDC said that smartphone shipments will grow by 10.4 percent this year to 1.44 bilion units, lower than its previous forecast of 11.3 percent.

The reason is that China, like the USA and Western Europe, is entering a mature phase where replacement will be the norm. Nevertheless, average selling prices are falling and shipments will hit 1.9 billion units by 2019.

Last year, said IDC, China accounted for 32.3 percent of all new smartphone shipments and it will continue to be the biggest market for volumes.

But IDC predicts that its share will drop to 23.1 percent in 2019 while India will continue to grow.

India has now more potential for growth than other markets.

Here’s how IDC sees the smartphone market by operating systems, with Android phones dwarfing the others.

IDC market share smartphones

Smartphone sales slow worldwide

ANDROIDSales of smartphones across the world have slowed down as the market becomes more saturated.

According to data from Gartner, sales in the second quarter showned the slowest growth since 2013, with 330 million units shipping. That’s up 13.5 percent from the same quarter in 2013.

Where growth has come, its for low cost 3G and 4G smartphones in emerging markets. Smartphone sales in China, however, fell by four percent in the quarter for the first time ever.

Gartner said the Chinese market is now driven by replacement.

Apple’s iPhones continue to challenge Samsung top end phones, with the Korean giant showing a decline of 4.3 percent in market share and 5.3 percent in unit sales.

Huawei surged by 463 percent, while iPhone sales grew by 36 percent in the quarter.

Price wars continue as vendors gear up for new models planned in the second half of this year.

On the operating system front, Android remained the number one driver, but saw its growth fall, followed by Apple’s iOS. Microsoft struggled to sell Windows phones.

Android One ships to Africa

ANDROIDGoogle has introduced its Android One smartphone program for countries in Africa.

The device was launched in India last September and has been rolled-out in 10 other emerging markets including Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey and Philippines.

Dubbed Hot 2, the Android One device available in Africa was made by Hong Kong-based Infinix and is on sale for US$88. It can be found online from Jumia in Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Morocco and several African stores.

Google has targeted Android One at OEMs that make phones for emerging markets. Google controls the development, design, and marketing of the devices, while leaving the building of the phones to partner manufacturers.

The phone has the latest version of Android and will get the Android Marshmallow release after release.

Writing in his bog Google VP of product management, Caesar Sengupta, said that the goal is to provide a consistent and uncompromising smartphone experience, for everyone.”

The Infinix Hot 2 has a quad-core MediaTek processor, dual SIM slots, front and rear-facing cameras, an FM radio tuner, and 16GB internal memory for movies and music, according to Google. Its standard version, with 1GB memory, is available in four colours and the premium version (with 2GB memory) is available in gold, Google said.

Hot 2 provides up to 2x better performance and extended battery features compared to prior versions, Google said.

Google will release a new offline feature within the YouTube app later this year, Sengupta added. This feature will make it possible for people to take videos offline to watch later during short periods of low or no Internet connectivity, he said. Users will be able to add videos for offline viewing for up to 48 hours without an Internet connection.

Stoners object to Android Marshmellow

amd-cheech-chong-smoke-jpgGoogle has confirmed that Android M will officially be named Android Marshmallow, but a group of stoners are calling for a name change.

According to misformunchines, designed like Google’s Alphabet site, the potheads have penned a calm,  open letter to Google to change the name of Marshmallow to Android Munchies.

“We assert that it would be neither humane nor fair to the millions of stoners to call the upcoming release anything but ‘Munchies’, regardless of how tempting and mushy marshmallow sounds right now,” it reads.

The site has some graphs which explain that there is a big overlap between Android users and stoners.

In fact the entire campaign appears to have been started by someone who was totally off their face and giggling at the time of writing.

Munchies does seem a good name for a phone to us, but then we have been on a diet for a couple of weeks and anything food related sounds tempting – other than cauliflowercheese.com

Oracle gets sillier over Android case

ANDROIDOracle, which is fast becoming famous for its litigation, is claiming in court that Java was dying because Android’s programmers used similar APIs.

Oracle filed its original lawsuit in 2010, accusing Google of copying some of the basic Java programming APIs into Android. Since then, Google has released six major versions of the OS and the software has “come to permeate the fabric of our society,” Oracle said in a letter filed Wednesday in San Francisco district court.

“It is in 80 percent of smartphones, in tablets, in televisions, on wearables, and even in cars,” Oracle’s lawyers wrote. “Android now has a billion users; Google reaps untold profits from these users through a variety of means.”

At the same time, Oracle says, its Java platform “has suffered more than ever.”

Yep, Oracle is saying that Android is so successful because Google programmers used similar APIs to Java and killed it off. APIs are reminder messages placed in the code so that programmers can find their way.

Oracle has asked the court for permission to supplement its original complaint to reflect Android’s success and the financial gains Google has made from the OS, particularly in search advertising.

It claims that these new facts could strengthen Oracle’s case against Google’s fair use defence, Oracle says, particularly a factor in that defence that considers the impact of a defendant’s actions on the value of the copyrighted work.

“Androids utter domination of the smartphone market, adoption of an anti-fragmentation strategy, and entry into other actual and potential Java-platform markets all bear directly on this factor and others,” it says.

A jury in San Francisco decided two years ago that Google infringed Oracle’s copyright but was split on the question of fair use.

The judge in that case, William Alsup, who is a programmer, decided that Oracle’s Java programming interfaces weren’t eligible for copyright protection making the jury’s verdict irrelevant.

Oracle appealed, however, and the appeals court agreed with it that the Java APIs ertr creative works worthy of protection. Google tried to take the case to the Supreme Court, but last month it refused to hear the case.

That means, barring a settlement, the companies will head back to Alsup’s court where a new jury will decide the question of fair use. And Oracle, apparently, thinks it has a stronger case than it had the first time around, because Android has done so well.

Cyanogen creeps up on big mobile players

1315eb4Android outfit Cyanogen appears to be creeping up behind the main mobile players faster than many expected.

The company has announced that it has more than 50 million users at the moment – which is more than Windows Mobile and BlackBerry combined.

That is not bad for an outfit which started out as a simple ROM for Android devices which started out as a hobby by current CTO Steve Kondik in 2009.

The outfit was incorporated as a company in 2013 and now provides its Android-based software as pre-installed Cyanogen OS in devices like Yu Yureka and Yuphoria.

While Cyanogen OS was also originally pre-installed on the OnePlus One, the bitter falling-out between the two companies last year has resulted in OnePlus going with their own version of Android called Oxygen OS with the newly-announced OnePlus 2.

Cyanogen is basically Android without Google products and services. Recently it added a default email and calendar app.

The company has also teamed up with manufacturers to preload their software, such as OnePlus and India’s Micromax.

Samsung tries to stop Android fragmentation

ANDROIDGoogle has been pushing out security patches for its Android software but the phone companies cannot be bothered rolling them out fast enough. Now it seems that Samsung has learnt its lesson.

Recently Samsung fast tracked security updates to its Galaxy devices in response to the recent Android “Stagefright” vulnerabilities uncovered late last month by security firm Zimperium.

Now it has said that it soon will implement a new Android security update process that fast tracks mobile security patches over the air when security vulnerabilities are uncovered.

The security updates for the popular Android mobile OS will take place regularly about once per month to Galaxy devices, the company said.

Samsung said that it was clear that there was time sensitivity in addressing major vulnerabilities.

Dong Jin Koh, EVP of Mobile Research and Development at Samsung Electronics, said that the recent security issues have caused a rethink about getting security updates to our devices in a more timely manner.

“Since software is constantly exploited in new ways, developing a fast response process to deliver security patches to our devices is critical to keep them protected. We believe that this new process will vastly improve the security of our devices and will aim to provide the best mobile experience possible for our users.”

This is a turnaround in an attitude which has fragmented Android completely and forced users to suffer security vulnerabilities.

Samsung said that it is currently discussing the new approach to addressing security flaws with carriers around the world, noting that more details about the specific models and timelines will be released soon.

Google said that it has started a new Android monthly security update process for its Nexus devices.